Special celebration planned as DMU welcomes Baroness Doreen Lawrence as new Chancellor


De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is preparing for a very special celebration as it welcomes its new Chancellor, Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE.

The formal investiture will take place on Friday, January 22 at The Venue@DMU.


A day-long celebration will precede the ceremony featuring performances from students including poetry, dance, theatre and music as well as special “speed lectures” to showcase DMU’s diverse research.

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university and, as such, acts as its figurehead and ambassador. Baroness Lawrence was chosen by students and staff for her work to champion issues affecting young people, education and social change.   Click here to watch an interview with Baroness Lawrence 

Following the death of her son Stephen, she established the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in 1998. It has supported young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them start careers in architecture, journalism and law.

She has also worked to increase the numbers of students from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds attending university.

Baroness Lawrence was created a Life Peer in 2013. The following year she was named one of the most powerful women in the UK by the BBC.


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In the House of Lords, Baroness Lawrence has used her political standing to inspire and empower young people to engage in politics. Last year she was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws by DMU.


HONOURED: Baroness Lawrence received an honorary degree from DMU last year

Professor Shellard said: “I speak for all students and staff when I say that the investiture of Baroness Lawrence as our new Chancellor is a very significant moment indeed in the history of DMU. In Baroness Lawrence we have a Chancellor of rare integrity and stature and we are delighted and honoured to welcome her to the university.”

Ian Blatchford, Chairman of the Board of Governors, said: "The university's new Chancellor embodies the values we hold dear at DMU: public service that improves lives, challenging conventions for positive change, taking pride in the diversity we represent, and using the real strength and reach that diversity gives us. Baroness Lawrence is a passionate advocate for the power of education and we look forward to working closely with her in the coming years."

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon said: “Young people from all backgrounds need support and encouragement to reach their potential. What attracted me to this role was that it gives me the chance to help influence and empower students to be the best that they can be. That’s what’s behind the work of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and I hope that I can bring all that I have learnt through that work to DMU and its students and staff.”

Posted on Wednesday 20th January 2016

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